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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2012
A new Andy Shepperd album is always well worth a listen,and the nomadic,hard working maestro r eturns to form with this release,after the slightly disappointing "Movements in Colour".
This is typically an ECM recording and production,with unbelivable clarity,Sheppard swoops and swerves to glorious effect like an eagle soaring at hights that are very rarely achieved.
The tunes are delicately played,with infusions of melody that are truly gorgious,which even say,Jan Garbarek would find hard to believe,how can a musician play like this?
As usual,for an ECM release,the trio format works wonderfully well,beautiful bass playing throughout ,and, very subtle drums.
This is without doubt Andy,Michel and Sebastian playing at their best
This is Andy's best album since "Nocturnal tourist"
buy this and fall under its spell.
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on 3 February 2012
I have a lot of time for Andy Sheppard. I've been a huge fan for years and have practically all his CDs including the ones he did with Carla Bley. If we have a better jazz saxophonist in this country, I'm yet to hear him. Or her.

I was really looking forward to this release but I write this review - my first in ages - bitterly disappointed. I don't like it at all. Sax/drum/bass trios are tough to pull of at the best of times in my opinion and it's not as if Sheppard doesn't have the chops. But the songs are dull, there's no rythm or melody to them and the whole affair is boringly depressing. It's several steps down from his last release, 2009's appropriately titled Movements In Colour and if this album outsells that one I'm prepared to eat my hat.

ECM are a great label, Manfred Eicher is a phenomenal producer, a legend almost. But in my view, Andy Sheppard should go back to what he's best at. Bright, funky soulful jazz music - that involves at least four players.
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VINE VOICEon 17 February 2012
This album is outstanding. From my experience of Andy Sheppard it represents something of a departure from his usual more up tempo and much busier offerings.

The sax / bass /drums only line-up can be hard to pull off because the musicians have no place to hide but this album works and then some. The overall feel is of crisp, pared-back, latin tinged, low key, delicate jazz with acres of open space underpinned by the textures and accents provided by the sensitive drums of Sebastian Rochford and the Charlie Haden-like bass playing of Michel Benita. Mentioning Haden brings to mind the wonderful 'Magico' album that he made with Jan Garbarek in 1980. This is similar in feel. That album, like this one, was on the ECM label and they both exhibit ECM's quality hallmarks of melodically haunting music complemented by clear and pristine production and virtuoso musicianship. As you would expect from ECM, the musicians are allowed to breathe and express themselves without any unnecessary clutter. Sheppard's tone is more rounded and mellow than Garbarek's sometimes shrill approach and it suits the mood of the album perfectly. If you like the Haden / Garbarek 'Magico' album and music of that ilk then this is for you. Don't hesitate, buy it, you won't be disappointed.
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on 13 February 2012
Andy Sheppard's debut on ECM "Movements in Colour" was both critically acclaimed and popular, confirming his kinship with the great label as he collaborated with artists of the stature of Arild Andersen. However, for all its confidence and accomplishment there was not always a depth to the melodic grace and rhythmic suppleness. Although Sheppard's tone is as easily identifiable, "Trio Libero" is in some ways an inverse of its predecessor. The saxophone, bass and drums sound is sparse compared with the instrumentation on "Movements in Colour" and there is almost a languid diffidence to much of the music and fans of Seb Rochford (whether for Polar Bear or one of his countless other projects) might well be disappointed by the minimalist approach he adopts for much of the album bar a few noticeable exceptions (such as the fiery "Slip Duty").

However, while "Trio Libero" is not the masterpiece some are claiming it is much better than one reviewer gives it credit for and, at its best, is magnificent. The highlights for me are "Spacewalk, Parts 1 and 2" - Sheppard's tone is majestic, even massive and the music has an almost symphonic scope, calling to mind Arild Andersen's own recent saxophone trio release "Live At Belleville". Elsewhere Sheppard occasionally produces a ghostly sound eerily reminiscent of Jon Hassell's trumpet and once the lovely lyrical "When we live on the stars" brings a close on the album, we are left with a warm but strange feeling of having heard something very fine but slightly elusive and effervescent.
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on 6 May 2015
I'm really not sure about this cd. I'm a big Andy Sheppard fan, so I want it to be good, and yet there are few memorable moments. I keep listening to it, and it sort of gets better the more times I play it. I tend to put it on at high volume and listen to it when I make art or wash up. I just don't get it. Maybe Andy Sheppard tired of the more, and I mean a lot more, popular jazz style, and wanted to be more serious, and I mean serious, as a departure from this way of performing. But is it any good? I just don't know. Which is odd when you think about it, but I can't say that I hate it, although if I was put in a darkened room and forced to listen then I think I would find that difficult. But I'm getting used to it. It's so slow, with no riffs, very thoughtful. Is it pretentious? I'm not sure. It's good if you're feeling depressed, and then it meets you on that level, so you don't feel like if you're listening to jolly music when you're depressed and you feel worse, because the performers are having such a good time. Disappointing, but perhaps not!
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on 14 February 2012
Excellent stuff - great on every level.

I've always been a little wary of both Sheppard and Roachford for some reason, but they are both superb here. Benita plays creative lines, and is also a top-notch player. (I have a cd of him playing in a trio with Nguyen Le, and he's equally good here).

The album has a warm, loose-limbed feel to it, with a mixture of strong melodies, and more abstract music too. The whole is a real grower, and has elegance with an edge if you pay attention to the details.
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on 17 April 2012
Another great release from Andy Sheppard on thw ECM label. This continues the feal which I saw live on the P.S., though I have always loved all his stuff since the first eponymus Antilles release. Highly reccommended.
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on 16 December 2014
Solid performance by Shepard laid back stuff in the main .
Nice late at night great sound quality as usual from ECM
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on 11 February 2012
Saw them last year. Phenomenal. Been waiting for this one, and it is just absolutely perfect. Gorgeous. How anyone could hear this and not swoon is beyond me...
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on 14 February 2012
In answer to the review about are there better sax men out there in the UK well yes there are...!!!

I would have to say if you have not heard of TOMMY SMITH, or GILAD ATZMON and of course the mighty hornman that is COURTNEY PINE then you are not a really Jazz person.

Stop listening to Andy and listen to Tommy Smith Forbidden Fruit. I can promise you Andy Sheppard will be cast aside forever...

Oh and Bobby Wellins is a master as well...

Come On Andy get your act together and do an album that blows my mind...!!!!!
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